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Rivkin last won the day on February 14

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    Kirill R.

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  1. All sword publications always suffer from one big issue - there are about 3-4 people who can write something rather than rehash something already published, and these people tend to have uneven output. Plus today they can reach as wide an audience through a personal blog (Markus Sesko). By comparison a periodic publication has both a more limited audience and substantially lower average quality per publication. I am all for nihonto journal as free, open set of papers collected on a website, but with no more than one issue per year. Otherwise I don't see a point. In terms of books, I would love to say digital as it saves tremendous amount of effort on the publisher's side, but... I don't think digital only is a good option today except for strictly reference volumes like Markus' swordsmiths for the time being. Maybe the best case is having a limited print run (250 copies) plus a digital version. On Societies... In my opinion, they should focus far less on titles, on being called a sensei, on publications and events, and more on looking at blades. First and foremost organizing shows of good blades or tosogu. Sadly this is something they least appreciate. Working hard with members or doing infinitely harder job of getting through the screen of museum nonsense is not their forte.
  2. That's a classic Takada signature I would think - bold, large, deep and centered and a classic Takada name. Not being a specialist: Their work just varies a lot and thus can be difficult to pointpoint to a specific generation. Nambokucho ones typically have strong Yamato feel, but in ko nie, with lots of variations of hamon which you can probably call gunome or midare, and masame is not particularly strong. In early Muromachi you would expect more of the same, but even a tad less nie(some are pure nioi based with relateively wide and white nioi-guchi) and with somewhat larger featured jigane. Those would not be pure suguha. The problem is that occasionally they would decide to do Bizen imitation or something else, but here we talk about suguha so it makes things easy. Then they started to churn out a lot of blades around 1550. To be honest, almost everything signed is actually good quality, unsigned things attributed by NBTHK are absolutely random. The issue is that besides Yamato-Soshu stuff which was their early tradition they started to do full blown Soshu pieces and later also Bizen works, so at this point the style is complicated. But then the story goes some of their own worked with shodai Tadayoshi and you clearly see the very best examples after that time are all pure suguha and very bright and consistent itame with ji nie, very close to Hizen but tends to have distinctive "scratched appearance". They also made effort to show some nie at habuchi - either as hotsure in which case jigane has nagare or as Rai-like round ko nie foam, in which case the jigane will be pure itame. Hope that helps.
  3. Nothing authoritative about my statement, just I guess, but: I would argue by statistics one almost never sees the works predating Otomo Sorin (i.e. 1550s). There are mumei ones attributable to Bungo of Nambokucho, but then you have a long lull where you find exceptionally few blades. Nijimei ones tend to have very large characters. I am too lazy to look into reference books, but the ones I remember had visible jigane and were not in pure suguha. The passion for suguha begins later and dominates the works only of post-Hizen Tadayoshi generations. At the same time you start seeing a shift towards denser and better itame-nagare. On the other hand, later into shinto they are seldom nijimei. By default for me a nijimei like this is between Eiroku and Genna. I would ask a few questions - it is pure suguha? If yes, its almost certainly not earlier than Eiroku. If it has norare-midare-gunome-whatever you call it, can be earlier. Does it have hotsure or well defined nie crystals at habuchi? If yes, its late. If no, likely earlier. Is jigane somewhat wide featured in place, possibly with shirake utsuri, with not a lot of hotsure? If yes, likely early. If jigane is bright and itame dominated, with very well defined Rai-Hizen-like dashes in nie - certainly late.
  4. Hi Joe, I will be the voice of .... (bad things) by stating that the signature might be false. The nakago is atypical for the school, so is almost everything about the writing. However, it looks like a genuine late Muromachi period blade which might as well have Soshu like hamon. Not much is seen on such photographs, but there are a few reasonable possibilities regarding the school. Is habaki a wood integral to the tsuka? Some people believe this tends to correspond to higher end, often Muromachi though blades. Kirill
  5. I am very sorry to hear that. Larry had it tough for quite a few years, but kept on going with Minneapolis sword show and his dojo. He will be missed.
  6. its very periodic which after 1500 is sort of mino. jumyo was a bit conservative in this so it survived into shinto like that. to be honest i would say its just older.
  7. Yes, Jumyo comes to mind.
  8. Senjuin attribution should not be an issue here. For pre-late Kamakura items there are no alternative Yamato mainline attribution, so one has to decide against Kyushu (Naminohira, Sairen) or ko-Hoki. This does not look Sairen, really a stretch for ko-Hoki, the hada with ayasugi-like masame can pass for Naminohira, but they tend to have much flatter ha. It feels like a typical mainline Yamato and thus Senjuin. However, Senjuin attributions are often considered somewhat weak simply because not much is known about the school and in many cases it serves as default attribution for Yamato without Senjuin-specific traits.
  9. Rivkin

    Family sword

    I am beginning to suspect I am royally messed up... Is it Chinese?? I thought it is better than that, but also thought they did not make things that simple in late showa...
  10. Good point, forgot it was shortened... Then can be shinto.
  11. You can see hamon at places, but the hada is essentially a glass-like mirror surface - this is very late. Straight without tapering with largish kissaki - often shinshinto. Nakago looks unusual for the period, maybe a bit earlier.
  12. Rivkin

    Family sword

    Almost certainly recent, like WW2 era.
  13. Yep, border of Muromachi and shinto. Could be many things, like shitahara.
  14. I would even go shinshinto, but hard to be certain.
  15. I did not check any references myself, but with Senjuin unknown signatures are quite common. They did not have Edo period's genealogies to back them up, being an outsider group in a sense, while at the same time they are really old, with late Heian swords found here and there. So what would be a slam dank TJ with Bizen or Yamashiro becomes just a guaranteed TH with Senjuin, with not a lot of extra money from the fact that its signed. Funny how a low grade ko Hoki will set you back easily 3 mil yen, while very good Senjuin can be had for under 2.
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